Congratulations to our 2012 Award Recipients!

The Dean James Credle Award

This is an annual award given to a Rutgers-Newark student who has demonstrated leadership through scholarship and activism by approving the scholarly, political, and personal lives of LGBTQ students at Rutgers-Newark and the broader community. It is named in honor of Dean James Credle, a Rutgers-Newark alumnus, who for decades served as Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs and subsequently as the Assistant Dean of Student Activities. Credle's lifetime of work has built community understanding to alleviate abusive bias and discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

2012 recipient: Donavan Linder 

Born in Germany, raised most of his life in Burlington County, New Jersey, Donovan Scott Linder is a fourth generation college student and soon to be college graduate this year. He is a double major in Psychology and Sociology; with a 3.1 GPA. Donovan will attend graduate school in the fall, studying Industrial / Organizational Psychology. Donovan came to Rutgers Newark in fall of 2008 with a mission to help the community in which he serves. As both an activist and a student, Donovan Linder is driven to create change no matter where he is in the world.  His many contributions consist of working in the Office of the Dean of Students Affairs as a Peer Advisor Coordinator; Co-President of RU Pride, Rutgers Newark’s LGBTQ organization for Undergraduate students; serving on the LGBT Task force in the Chancellor’s Office; and an active member of the LGBT Advisory Council with NJPAC. One major accomplishment that has now been instituted within Rutgers community is the launch of LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center. After graduation, Donovan is interested in addressing high school dropout rates and helping local / national organizations find a solution to this issue. He would like to thank his family, friends, and mentors – Dean Clayton Walton & Angela Vena.  


Beth Niemi Award for Excellence in Women's and Gender Studies

The Beth Niemi Award for Excellence in Women’s and Gender Studies is given to a graduating senior who has completed a major or minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Beth Niemi was a faculty member in the economics department at Rutgers–Newark who studied feminist issues in economics. Her work as a labor economist included studying salary differentials between men and women in the same profession, and the economics of combining work and family life. She proposed and taught the course “Women and the Economy” that is still offered by the economics department. She provided leadership to the Women’s and Gender Studies Program

2012 Award Recipients: Maria Semmens and Ashley Angeli

Ashley Angeli is a senior double majoring in History and Women and Gender Studies at Rutgers-Newark and an LGBT Studies Minor.  She was a senior Member of the school’s collegiate softball team last year and received the Coaches’ Award.  Ashley has been involved in LGBTQ events, groups, and activism since her freshman year of high school.  She plans on joining Americorps to do education volunteer work before attending graduate school for a Master’s degree in Women's and Gender Studies.

Maria Semmens graduated from Brookdale Community College, earning an Associates of Arts in English before transferring to Rutgers -Newark in order to complete a Bachelors degree within the Women’s and Gender Studies discipline, retaining a minor in American Literature. Future plans to apply to graduate schools during the fall semester in order to pursue a PhD in the field of English Literature with a concentration in Women’s Studies.